Indians Lose To Twins, 3-1

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Anthony Swarzak, for an afternoon at least, was a starter again.

He pitched like he didn’t want to go back to the bullpen. The rest of the Minnesota relievers picked him up with a strong performance in his honor.

Swarzak pitched five sharp innings in a short-notice start, Oswaldo Arcia homered and the Twins beat the Cleveland Indians 3-1 Wednesday.

“I missed that. That was fun,” Swarzak said.

Danny Santana scored after two of his three hits for the Twins, and five relief pitchers totaled six strikeouts over four scoreless innings. Glen Perkins finished up in the ninth for his 24th save in 27 tries.

When Kyle Gibson developed a sore back the day before, Swarzak (2-0) was summoned from the bullpen to fill in. He threw 75 pitches, 15 over the limit the Twins had in mind, but the right-hander allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out three. He was only in trouble once. The Twins were worried about his stamina, but he still hit 93 mph on the radar in the fifth.

“When you’re in as good a shape as him, and the hard work that he does in that training room and everywhere else in running and throwing, he can handle those things,” manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Swarzak has made 29 career starts dating back to 2009, but this was his first since Oct. 2, 2012. Such a surprise assignment can be a challenge for a pitcher, less than 14 hours after finding out, but that can also work against an opponent that hasn’t fully prepared to face him.

“Our hope would be to get the pitch counts up, give him a couple long innings and make them use their bullpen. We couldn’t,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.

Four of Swarzazk’s five innings were perfect.

“I felt like I might’ve had a little bit more in the tank,” Swarzak said. “I’ve always been a guy when I’ve started to get stronger as the outing goes forward and have the best stuff in the last inning I’ve thrown.

In the third, Jose Ramirez poked a perfectly placed double down the third base line to drive in a run. Shortstop Eduardo Nunez made a slick diving stab of Michael Brantley’s sharp line drive up the middle, ending the inning with runners at second and third.

“Play of the game, hands down. That’s why we won,” Swarzak said.

How the Twins needed this performance by Swarzak. They gave up 14 runs over the first three innings combined during the first five games of his homestand, losing four of those. After a recent return to respectability, the rotation has begun to backslide toward the level of those rough last three seasons.

Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 4

TORONTO (AP) – Jose Bautista homered and drove in two runs, R.A. Dickey won for the first time in three starts and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Boston Red Sox 6-4 on Wednesday night.

Bautista hit an RBI double in the first inning and added a leadoff homer in the seventh, his first since July 2.

David Ortiz hit a three-run homer for the Red Sox, his fourth in three games, but Boston lost its second straight after winning the previous five.

Dickey (8-10) allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings, walked one and struck out five.

Rookie Aaron Sanchez, selected from Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday, made his debut with two perfect innings and Casey Janssen finished for his 15th save in 17 chances.

Ortiz’s drive was his 37th at Rogers Centre, breaking a tie with Alex Rodriguez for the most by a visiting player.

Royals 2, White Sox 1

CHICAGO (AP) – Mike Moustakas scored the tiebreaking run in the top of the ninth inning when White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers could handle a throw home and the Kansas City Royals beat Chicago 2-1 Wednesday in the rubber game of a three-game series.

Moustakas triggered the decisive rally with a lead-off single off Zach Putnam (3-2), the last of four White Sox pitchers. Alcides Escobar bunted Moustakas over before Aoki flared a single to center field.

Adam Eaton’s strong throw beat Moustakas to the plate, but Flowers lost control of the ball when the runner slid into him. Flowers was charged with an error on the play.

Wade Davis (6-2) pitched a scoreless inning and Greg Holland retired the side in order in the ninth inning for his 26th save.

INTERLEAGUE

Rays 3, Cardinals 0

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Alex Cobb struck out 10 and drove in a run with his first major league hit, leading Tampa Bay to a 3-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night, the Rays’ seventh straight win.

Cobb (6-6) blanked the Cardinals on five hits over seven innings. It was the fourth time he has thrown at least seven innings without an earned run this season. Cobb missed 50 games last season with a concussion after he was hit near the right ear by a line drive off the bat of Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer.

Jake McGee pitched the ninth inning for his ninth save in 10 opportunities.

The Rays have won 25 of their last 36 games and are 13-4 in July. On June 29, they had the worst record in the majors and have passed 11 teams since.

Tampa Bay completed its road trip at 5-0 and its eight-game road winning streak ties the franchise record set twice.

Tigers 11

Diamondbacks 5

PHOENIX (AP) – Miguel Cabrera hit a three-run homer, Austin Jackson a three-run double and the Detroit Tigers wore out the Arizona Diamondbacks 11-5 in a slugfest at Chase Field on Wednesday.

Detroit roughed up Trevor Cahill (1-7), going up 7-0 after four innings behind Jackson’s big hit and three RBIs by Alex Avila.

Arizona clawed its way back against Anibal Sanchez (7-4), scoring three runs off him in the fifth and two more over the next two innings.

Joba Chamberlain needed one pitch to escape a jam created by Sanchez in the seventh inning and Cabrera put the Tigers up 11-5 in the eighth, hitting his 15th homer off the foul pole in left.

Both teams had 13 hits.

Didi Gregorius homered and had two RBIs for the Diamondbacks.

Mets 3, Mariners 2

SEATTLE (AP) – Bartolo Colon came within seven outs of a perfect game, giving up a single to Robinson Cano with two outs in the seventh inning, and the New York Mets held off a late rally to beat the Seattle Mariners 3-2 on Wednesday.

The 41-year-old Colon retired the first 20 batters he faced before Cano lined a 2-2 pitch into left field. Colon applauded the single that dropped in front of left field Eric Young Jr. Colon then had to hold on as Seattle rallied in the eighth and came within inches of tying the game on Brad Miller’s RBI double that hit off the top of the wall.